Making an Electromagnetic Fishing Rod

by Robert Raphael
Making an electronic fishing pole can teach students about the properties of electromagnetism.

Making an electronic fishing pole can teach students about the properties of electromagnetism.

If you are looking for a creative way of teaching your kids about the power of magnets and circuits, look no further than making an electromagnetic fishing rod. This is a project that the kids can help with or even do themselves, depending on how old they are. You will only need a few items and the construction takes just minutes. Once the fishing rod is complete you can show how some things are magnetic and some are not. This is a real hands-on learning experience that everyone will enjoy.

Insert a screw into the wide face of a piece of wood with a screwdriver. The screw should be placed 3 inches from one end of the wood and be screwed in half-way. Add another screw 1 inch further along the wood, after the first screw.

Drill a hole into the wood a half-inch from the opposite end as the screws. Use a power drill to make a hole big enough to hold twp wires.

Secure a D battery to the wood with electrical tape. The battery should be positioned near the screws.

Strip the ends of a 41-inch piece of wire with wire strippers. Strip 2 inches off each end.

Wrap the wire around the body of a nail. Start at the head of the nail and leave 7 inches of the wire trailing. Stop wrapping the wire around the nail when you have 13 inches of wire left.

Feed both ends of the wire through the underside of the wood, through the hole you drilled. Tape the 7-inch length of wire to the bottom of the battery with a piece of electrical tape.

Make a tiny loop on the exposed end of the 13-inch length of wire. Run the looped wire along the side of the wood and wrap it around the screw further from the battery. Stop wrapping the wire around the screw when the tiny loop is facing the screw closer to the battery.

Cut a 2-inch length of wire and strip off half an inch off of each end. Twist one end of the short wire around the upper screw, closer to the battery.

Tape the other exposed end of the short wire to the front of the battery with electrical tape. Use your thumb to touch and hold the looped end of the lower wire to the wire around the upper screw to create a magnetic charge.

Items you will need

  • Screws
  • ½ x ¾ inch wood, 12 inches long
  • Screwdriver
  • Power drill
  • D battery
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire
  • Wire stripper
  • Nail

Tip

  • Spread metal paper clips over the floor and let your child practice using magnetic charges to pick them up.

Warning

  • Make sure all of the wire connections are firm and secure or you won't get a charge.

About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Robert Raphael has been writing health and technology articles since 1993. His work has appeared in “Natural Living” magazine and “Extreme PC” magazine. Raphael received the Jonathan Melman Literary Award in 1994. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brandeis University.

Photo Credits

  • man holding fishing rod at a lake, with nice scenery. image by SZILAGYI ANNAMARIA from Fotolia.com